, NAIROBI, Kenya, March 6 – Fifty three percent of Kenyans would vote for a female presidential candidate, according to a poll released on Saturday ahead of International Women’s Day to be marked on Monday.
The study conducted by Infotrak however indicates that only nine percent of the female respondents trust the political leadership of a female with majority preferring male leaders.
Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho said the study revealed that women trust Prime Minister Raila Odinga the most (30 percent) followed by Martha Karua’s 11 percent.
“Only two women appear in the ranking- Martha Karua and Charity Ngilu and I think that should be an eye opener; if we believe that there should be more political participation in the higher echelons by women then women themselves need to go through the paradigm shift,” she said.
The survey also indicates that 45 percent of men feel that gender inequality is still prevalent in Kenya and that four out of 10 men agree that men hinder women empowerment.
“The question was “do men play a role as an obstacle to women empowerment?” and it is interesting that 40 percent of guys said yes. So men know that there are things that they are doing that work as obstacles to women’s strides. In addition 47 percent of men, almost 50 percent, said there were things that they can do to elevate efforts towards gender equality,” she said.
The poll also revealed that equal employment opportunities, education and training as well as violence against women were the top three areas Kenyans felt the government had failed to address to facilitate gender equality.
“82 percent of Kenyans indicated that the government should take lead role in providing solutions and feel that the government’s overall performance in this area is currently only 50/50. Unfortunately with falling academic performance, it will be imperative for government and other stakeholders to seek various interventions that result in long term solutions for this problem,” said the CEO.
According to the survey’s findings, the civil society scored highest in its performance in the areas of fighting violence against women and employment opportunities. 67 percent of the respondents expressed support for the role played by the civil society in addressing gender inequality.
52 percent of Kenyans felt that women did not have equal access to political participation as compared to men. The one area the respondents felt women were making inroads was in Parliament. Of those who felt that women had equal access to political participation as men, 64 percent felt that women were taking an active role in politics.
“Parliamentary, ministerial and civic positions were the three main roles highlighted by respondents as those that were currently occupied by women in the Kenyan political landscape,” she said.
The poll which was based on 1,200 respondents in all provinces in Kenya also showed that slightly more than half of the respondents were aware of the International Women’s Day while 46 percent of them did not.
“They do not know about this day that is dedicated to women and 70 percent of those who know about its existence do not know when it is marked and what it’s all about,” she said.
The survey was carried out between the February 24 and 28. Respondents who qualified for the survey had to be 18-years-old and above.